NEIL McDonagh (Letters, April 19) and I are, basically, singing off the same hymn sheet, but to a different key. I agree that, as a small island on the edge of the Atlantic, our dependence on imported fossil fuels, a limited resource, is by far too high.
But wind power is not the answer.
Think of the recent mini-ice age which we all had to endure, which was characterised by calm, freezing conditions, with hardly a breath of wind blowing. Yet this was a period where, I'm sure, everybody's electricity bill went through the roof.
The answer, obvious worldwide to everyone except those in power in this benighted country, is nuclear energy -- one of Mr McDonagh's suggestions.
This is the safest, cleanest source of power available today, once the human factor is eliminated. It is a fact that there hasn't been a single nuclear accident, ever, attributable to anything other than human error. Mind you, in this country, we seem, more than most, to be susceptible to precisely that fault.
I also agree with Mr McDonagh when he states that our reserves of coal and biomass exceed those of oil and gas.
As we have no oil wells, and our natural gas reserves are rapidly depleting, it wouldn't be difficult for those commodities to be overshadowed by our sustainable forests, fields of oilseed rape (which have already proved to be pathetically inadequate for energy purposes), and the odd few lumps of coal which, to this day, remain beneath Castlecomer.
Still, unfortunately, not nearly enough for self-sufficiency.
Now, if only we could find some way of harnessing all the hot air that emanates from the Dail into a large pipe connected to the Poolbeg, we'd really be in business.
D K Henderson